Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tip of the Day: Saturday is a Special Day

Many of us are familiar with the primary song "Saturday."  In the song, it says, "Saturday is a special day...."  I try to make Saturday special for my kids.  I also try to give the house a makeover on Saturday.  Doing both of these things on one day is a challenge.  Cleaning is not in the definition of "special" to my kids.

We try to get the cleaning part done as fast and as fun as possible.  Then the rest of the day is open to playing games, making homemade English Muffins, (, or any other treat that sounds good. 

I've listed some of my kid's favorite cleaning "activities".  I hope some of them work for you.

Coin Find:  This entails me going into all of the rooms that are on the cleaning schedule for the day and hiding money under objects laying around, in the laundry that needs folded, or hidden somewhere that I know it will be found.  We usually, then, draw a job out of a hat and all of the kids run in that room and start cleaning.  They get  to keep whatever money they find.  The only drawback to this is teaching the younger kids that you can't just lift up a misplaced item to find money and then throw it back down.  You have to put away anything that you pick up.  It's amazing how fast the kids will work, even for pennies!

Popping Balloons:  This is a big hit with my kids.  I write a list of jobs that need done and then cut them out.  The paper with the job on it goes into a balloon that I proceed to blow up.  Then, I have the kids, one by one, pop a balloon to find which job we will perform next.  I usually include "Snack Break" once or twice in the list to give the kids a little break.

Hide-and-Seek:  This activity begins the same way as the previous one with me making a list and cutting the items out.  Then I hide the jobs in one certain room and the kids take turns finding the job we are to work on next.

Draw Out of a Hat:  I resort to this when we don't have a lot of time and I just need the jobs done.  I write a list, cut the job items out and throw them in a hat.  The kids take turns drawing out.  I sometimes include in the list things like, "Get a Treat", or "Take a Break".

Timed Events:  This is one of the quickest methods I've found.  I figure out how long the job should take and set the timer.  If the kids get the job done in that amount of time, they get one piece of candy each.  If they don't, we just have to move on to the next job.

Beat Mr. Baggy:  This kind of goes along with the timed event but adds an extra element.  I have a big beach bag that I drew a face on.  The kids have a certain amount of time to clean and then Mr. Baggy gets to "eat" whatever is left.  This works especially well in kid's bedrooms.  The kids then have to do an extra job to earn back whatever Mr. Baggy "ate".  I really like doing this at random times during the week when I see the kid's room needs cleaning up.

I Spy...:  When we are playing this game, I spy a certain color, shape, or size and everybody makes a mad dash to clean up everything they can find that fits my description.  I also may spy shoes, for instance, or particular items.

Magic Scraps:  This game is where I make note of a certain thing that is out of place, in my head, and everybody works as fast as they can to clean the room.  Whoever happened to pick up the "magic scrap" that I was thinking of, they get a treat.

Easter Egg Hunt:  This is a popular method just before and a few weeks after Easter, because all of the plastic eggs are out.  I make a job list, cut it up, and then put the jobs in the Easter eggs.  I then hide the eggs and the kids take turns finding them and doing the job inside.

Some Saturdays, I have only "fun" jobs. These are the deeper-cleaning jobs. The kids get to wash windows, (remember when that used to be fun?), mop the floor ice-skating style, or play in soapy bubbles while they wash dishes, walls, cupboards, etc.

It is easy to combine some of these games together to add variation. I also sometimes split the kids up in teams, or assign us all to our own individual jobs.  I sometimes help the kids with their jobs, or they vote to have me do one of the less desirable jobs while they're doing another.

If you have some fun cleaning ideas, be sure to share them in the comment section of this post.  Next week, I will list some of the chore charts I use  that seem to work during summers or vacation days for me.

1 comment:

Thank you so much for sharing. It makes my day!

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